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Just Said Yes September 2017

Desperate help for affordable Virginia wedding venues.... OR even destination at this point?

Nedj, on August 31, 2016 at 3:56 PM Posted in Planning 3 35
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Hi future/past brides,

I really need some help. It feels like I've been searching for wedding venues for over 3 months now and I can't find anything that is affordable. Once I find a venue I like, the catch is always the in-house catering or a minimum, etc.

I am either look for venues in Northern Virginia or the DMV area (as that's where I'm from) OR venues in Richmond, VA (where my Fiance and I live now). I am really looking for something that is affordable. I would even be happy for some places for destination weddings if there are none in RVA or NOVA.

My fiance's family has agreed to give $5,000 and my family has agreed to give $5,000, however, this is for the whole wedding. Therefore, we'd like to keep the venue price as low as possible. Any ideas?! It would be greatly appreciated!

35 Comments

Latest activity by Rachel, on January 4, 2021 at 10:17 PM
  • Jaimee
    Master October 2019
    Jaimee ·
    • Flag

    Personally, I don't rely on any outside money unless I have it in hand.

    Your venue typically takes up 50% of your budget. So, if you're counting on the $10,000 from the parents, $5,000 will go toward your venue; this is based on what they said they're contributing, obviously discounting anything you and your FI are adding to the funds since you did not mention them. You should look in the $5,000 or less range.

    I don't have any specific suggestions as I'm not from the area, but you could search for venues on WW with the venues tab or try The Knot.

    ETA: Details

    • Reply
  • DT
    Super December 2016
    DT ·
    • Flag

    Are you and your fiance willing to put in any money? I live in DC and $10k for an entire wedding will be very very difficult. Can you cut back on your guest list? Maybe consider a brunch wedding?

    • Reply
  • Melissa
    Master March 2018
    Melissa ·
    • Flag

    What's your guest count?

    • Reply
  • YouCanCallMeDot
    VIP January 2017
    YouCanCallMeDot ·
    • Flag

    Could you move the date back so you and your FH could save up. You could also do a very small wedding and have the reception at a restaurant.

    • Reply
  • GymRat
    Master May 2017
    GymRat ·
    • Flag

    What's YOUR budget?

    • Reply
  • Holly
    Master February 2017
    Holly ·
    • Flag

    Second what others have said about budget and guest list, but some ideas for less costly venues are fire halls, veterans' buildings, community centers, state and local parks, etc. Just keep in mind what each venue includes because sometimes the ones that seem too pricey at first include a lot more and are actually a better deal in the long run.

    • Reply
  • ShortStack
    VIP June 2017
    ShortStack ·
    • Flag

    I live in Northern Virginia and our budget is about the same. We ended up going south down 81 for our venue in Harrisonburg. I know looking in both those areas can get really expensive. I also looked in both because we've lived in both places.

    • Reply
  • N
    Just Said Yes September 2017
    Nedj ·
    • Flag

    Guest count was originally 150 but we quickly realized that would be impossible. Want to make it 100 and yes, we'd be willing to put in 5k. We have until next Fall to save. Again, if NOVA is too expensive, I don't mind having it somewhere else.

    • Reply
  • Melissa
    Master March 2018
    Melissa ·
    • Flag

    You're going to have a hard time doing 100 on 10k. You may want to consider a smaller less traditional venue.

    • Reply
  • GymRat
    Master May 2017
    GymRat ·
    • Flag

    Like other posters have said, unless that money being gifted to you is in your hand, DON'T COUNT ON IT. There are many people on this forum (and myself included) that have been promised money, only to have it fall through because shit happens.

    • Reply
  • Jaimee
    Master October 2019
    Jaimee ·
    • Flag

    You have $15,000 total, then, $5,000 in hand. So, counting on the full amount of $15,000, your venue would have to accommodate 100 guests for $7,500 or under; leaving $7,500 or so for a photographer, possibly food (I don't know if you could get an all-inclusive for $7,500), attire, flowers, decorations, etc.

    I'd look into a destination wedding, which could mean a smaller amount of guests if all 100 you intend to invent couldn't go, or pushing your wedding date back to have it in that area and properly host all that you plan on inviting.

    • Reply
  • N
    Just Said Yes September 2017
    Nedj ·
    • Flag

    Thanks Jay. What are some affordable destination spots?

    • Reply
  • MrsMcCoy
    VIP April 2016
    MrsMcCoy ·
    • Flag

    I live in NoVa too. We also went down 81 into the Shenandoah Valley to get married. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous down there, but its *much* more affordable than the DC Metro.

    We were married at Melrose Caverns Lodge in Harrisonburg, VA - (they have raised their prices a bit since we signed our contract), but it is so pretty, and allows outside catering and you can bring your own alcohol. You also get use for the weekend, and Melodie, the manager, acts as a DOC. She was fantastic. They also provide tables, chairs, and tablecloths.

    www.melrosecaverns.com

    For me, a venue where I could bring in our own catering and booze was a must to keep cost down.

    I agree with other posters though, don't count the money from your parents until you have it. I thought that was silly at first, I mean, its your parents. My dad offered us $4k towards the wedding. Surely he wouldn't screw us right? Wrong. Luckily I had the money to cover that $4k we budgeted. (My dad did eventually give it to us, but it was not when I needed it for vendor payments, etc.)

    ETA: We wanted a 10k wedding. That did not happen. We ended up around 14k and 85 guests. I think for 10k, you will likely need to cut your guest list.

    • Reply
  • N
    Just Said Yes September 2017
    Nedj ·
    • Flag

    ^ Thank you so much Mrs. McCoy! I appreciate the advice. I'll check Melrose Caverns out Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Sitz
    Master July 2016
    Mrs. Sitz ·
    • Flag

    I recommend looking at government owned properties. Some are actually really nice (in Colorado anyways). You can also look to see if any national forests or the US forest service has any properties in your area. Look at state, city and county properties. But, please don't self cater. Hire a pro! I think if you do that and DIY alot of stuff like the flowers you should be able to pull it off.

    • Reply
  • FutureMrsGray
    Dedicated September 2017
    FutureMrsGray ·
    • Flag

    My FH's parents just had their vowel renewal at Martin's Crosswinds. Their entire event was like $8K and the venue was beautiful with a ton of food. I think it's an all inclusive place. It's in Maryland in PG County, that's not Northern VA but wayyy closer to the area than Richmond.

    • Reply
  • MrsMcCoy
    VIP April 2016
    MrsMcCoy ·
    • Flag

    No problem. Good luck! (Melrose actually used some of our wedding pics in their gallery. the last 5 posted were from our wedding!)

    I'd also be happy to recommend some vendors down there:

    Catering: Hanks. Its a BBQ place that does catering, and it was delicious. We had brisket and grilled chicken. We hired our bartender through them and also rented our dishware from them.

    Florist: Susan Roepke owns a flower farm and supplies the local florists. She was affordable, our flowers were amazing, and she is the sweetest woman ever. http://flowerfields.webs.com/

    Photography: Karin Nicole Photography. She was a mid-range priced photographer, but is worth it.

    DJ: National DJ Connection. Greg is the owner and is great.

    Photobooth: Silly Shotz PhotoBooth - this was a splurge, but super affordable at $380 for 3 hours (or something like that).

    • Reply
  • Beutivant
    Master May 2016
    Beutivant ·
    • Flag

    Just hear to wish you luck. I searched for awhile in VA. And never saw anything that would fit that budget. I hope you find a great deal!

    • Reply
  • N
    Just Said Yes September 2017
    Nedj ·
    • Flag

    Mrs. McCoy - the pictures of Melrose Caverns look BEAUTIFUL. This definitely looks like a more feasible option also because I went to JMU, therefore some of my alumni guests might be happy to come visit Harrisonburg again. Thank you so so much for all your vendor recommendations! I am getting very excited now! Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • beautyofdreams
    VIP August 2016
    beautyofdreams ·
    • Flag

    If you want to do 100 guests for 10k I suggest really looking into Richmond. Richmond has many beautiful wedding venues. The prices will be more accommodating.

    • Reply

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